COVID Restrictions on Restaurants in Sofia in Force from Today - They will be Boycotted

As of today (January 27), restaurants in Sofia must admit customers at half their maximum capacity, and employees and visitors must have a COVID-19 certificate (for vaccination, post-illness, testing or antibodies). In addition, the opening hours of establishments, gambling halls, and casinos must be limited to 22 p.m.

The restrictions were written in an order of the director of the Sofia Regional Health Inspectorate (SRHI) Dancho Penchev but the two largest branch organizations - the Bulgarian Association of Restaurants and the Union of Restaurants in Bulgaria, have already announced that they will not obey them. By law, violations must be punished by fines imposed by inspectors from the regional health inspectorate and the Food Agency. However, they have repeatedly explained that they are overburdened due to the small number of employees and the many commitments to impose isolation and quarantine on patients and their contacts, so they do not have the capacity for inspections. This will once again put the state in a familiar situation - to rely on the conscience of the people to comply with the measures.

Who are the restrictions for?

The order states that the new rules in Sofia apply to all those registered under Art. 124 of the Tourism Act. It lists restaurants, bars, fast food restaurants, cafes, pastry shops, breweries, wineries, tea houses, nightclubs. All these categories must allow customers 50% of their capacity.

According to the order of SRHI, gambling halls and casinos are not required to attend half of the possible capacity of visitors, but the limit for working hours up to 22:00 p.m. also applies to gambling establishments.

How the industry reacts

In an interview with Nova TV,...

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